Tuesday, February 19, 2008


In my life, I've only bought a few of the precious stones mentioned in this book. A diamond in an engagement/wedding ring, a few pearls here and there. Jewels: a Secret History traces ten precious stones in such interesting detail, though, that it was fascinating to read about all of them.

Author Victoria Finlay leads us on a tour through Mohs scale of hardness, from pearls to diamonds. She visits lost Egyptian emerald mines, learns how to cut rubies in Sri Lanka, and learns about farming pearls in Japan. She bring enough of herself to the story that it's part history and part travelogue, with a voice that's both chronicler and poet. I looked forward to sitting down to read it.

Book 8


Gail said...

This one sounds interesting. I like the part history, part travelogue description. By the way, if you didn't read it sitting down, what were you doing...standing on your head, working out on the treadmill?

SnowLeopard said...

Working in a jewelry store was fun- I liked to be around all the stones, learning about the different types (did you know sapphires come in every color? It's defined by its hardness- that's what makes a stone a sapphire) and sizes and shapes. As well as the ludicrous amount they over-charge you for each one. Anything you'd like to share about this one, I'd be interested to learn about! :)